Digital Design Systems: The Single Source of Truth

Posted on
June 1, 2020

Let’s get straight to the point.

Collaborating with a team using so many systems in place can be...exhausting.

Let’s say a problem arises in a shared project. Each contributor is going to be in a scramble to troubleshoot and track down the person in charge of that aspect of the project. That person will then have to ask the next person over the next thing. Pretty soon all the people and all the things are confused.

There must be a better way.

If only there were a system that would store all the contributions of each collaborator. It’s your lucky day because that is exactly what the brilliance of a Design System does! 

What even is a design system?

We’ll keep this basic. A Design System is not only a classification of components, but a whole process that is built and maintained by a company to help them develop superior user experiences and strengthen their brand.

Basically, a Design System allows your team to thrive all while expediting your project by providing cohesion and systems for your team. 

Outcomes of a successful Design System

We’ve mentioned a couple of the benefits of opting in on a Design System, but there’s a whole list of advantages. 

Creates consistency. Implementing a Design System streamlines the processes for your team and creates consistency for the user. Pushing all of the design elements into one place helps the team to pick out any inconsistency and opt for the elements that are essential to the product. Users also get a streamlined experience. They’ll know what to expect when they shop with your company.

Budget savvy. Design Systems enable processes to be streamlined, cohesion in the team, and consistency in the product. All of those things when combined with glee (yes, glee!) make for a rise in production and customer satisfaction. With the influx of sales, your design team can grow! Gone are the days of disjointed teams and product faults being missed. Consider it a form of automation, allowing your team to do much more with way less, all with some good old fashioned planning and strategy. What your team soar!

What to know before you jump in

All of these benefits of jumping on the Design Systems bandwagon probably have you itching to...well, jump! Before you sit down with your team and commit, there are a few things to consider. Think of these tips as the foundation of the exciting things to come.

  1. Know your why. You’ll hear leaders, mentors, life coaches, managers, and the like, say the same thing. Your team needs to have a very specific goal in mind before you jump in to putting your new systems in place. Where does your team want to go? Why? Do you have shared values? What are they?
  2. Set design standards. What’s the objective? Consistency and continuity! In that case, your team needs to have design standards in place. Will your graphics do most of the talking? Will you opt for a minimalist approach? Keep your brand in mind. What has worked and what isn’t working at all? Use your brand to guide your standards.
  3. Assess your target audience. How many people will be using this system? Is there a goal in mind on how much you want that number to increase? How will you work towards making that happen? How can you learn from past mistakes when putting the new system in place?
  4. Know what kind of system you want in place. Will your company decide on a strict or loose system? Modular or integrated? Centralized or distributed? Narrow down your preferences before you opt in.

Design Systems Takeaways

It’s about time that Design Systems spike in popularity. This will only lead to streamlined processes, more cohesive teams, and happier users. Stay tuned for our next article on Design Systems. We’re going to be diving deeper into the working parts of Design Systems and how to make them work for you and your team.

Posted in
May 30, 2020